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How Education Drives Atlanta’s Housing Market

by Tom Walsh

The Atlanta area thrives on higher education

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Education plays a big role in the lives of Atlanta residents, and the latest rankings from Degree Query’s 50 Most Educated Places in America confirms its importance.

According to Degree Query, Atlanta is the 24th most-educated area in the country, while Marietta came in at No. 42.

The list looked at Census data on a county level for the percentage of people 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. In Atlanta, 48.2 percent of the 622,408 people that were over the age of 25 held a bachelor’s degree or higher. Atlanta is home to fourteen public high schools, forty-two private schools and more than thirty colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. The city contains the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country. In Marietta, the rate was at 43.7 percent of 457,919.

The highest ranked city on the list was Arlington, VA.

Education Creates Benefits Towards Homebuying

Higher education has always been looked at as a natural step toward success. According to a Better Homes and Gardens survey, 60 percent of Generation Z want to earn an advanced degree, which follows the trend of Millennials and Generation Xers.

The benefits of education are numerous for housing prospects, and Millennials’ struggles post-downturn are a perfect illustration of why. According to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York study, college jobs paid on average $78,500 annually, double that of the non-college administrative support sector ($37,207) and nearly four times as much as the low-skilled sector ($23,584). Even though 45 percent of college graduates did work a “non-college” job, only one in five worked in the low-skilled sector. Often these jobs were used as springboards to gain experience in order to get a college job in their field.

Why are such stats important? According to realtor.com, 51 percent of Millennial renters said a new job, promotion or raise would encourage them to purchase a house, and 50 percent said being able to save for a downpayment would also help. Millennials stuck at home or renting have undercut the expected boom of young homeowners, and better wages do far more to encourage home purchases than rising rents or other factors.

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